Local Tower Information

Bristol Rural Branch

Gloucester & Bristol Diocesan Association

St Peter, FiltonSt Peter, Filton



See a photo of this tower: 320 x 240 pixels.

The first church here was built before 1340, the tower being added in the 14th Century. It held pair of Medieval bells that were hung on the Monday after Michaelmas in 1352. Records show that these had both become cracked by 1681, and were replaced in 1743 by a ring of five hung in an oak frame. The Ringing Room was on the ground floor of the tower at this time, somewhat inconvenient as this was also the main entrance into the church. However, when the church was almost entirely rebuilt (except for the tower) in 1845, the west door in the base of the tower was blocked up and a new south entrance and porch built.

By 1938 it became clear that the bellframe had become unsafe due to insect attack, and from 1945 the bells were clapper-chimed only. They were removed from the tower in 1960 for retuning and returned with a new treble to augment the ring to six. The tower having been strengthened and adorned with a new needle spire to replace the original one that was blown down in 1690, the bells were rehung in a new steel frame and fittings. The new first floor Ringing Room was also added at this time, allowing the west door to be reopened as the main entrance to the church and accompanying a large northern extension.

Taylors also supplied an Ellacombe Chiming Apparatus in the new Ringing Room in 1961, given in remembrance of George Heath who died 16th March 1933, and at the same time a synchronous electric clock movement was installed by Smith of Derby. Located high on a shelf in the Ringing Room, it drives a dial on the west wall of the tower and strikes the hours on the fifth bell. The front five Ellacombe hammers have since been removed (but are kept in storage for possible future reinstatement), the remaining tenor hammer's rope being extended to the ground floor for use as a Sanctus.

The bells of St Peter, Filton
BellWeightDiameterNoteFounder Date
12-3-11 23¼ inG John Taylor & Co. 1960
23-2-15 26¼ inF William Evans 1734
33-3-25 28 inEb William Evans 1734
44-1-11 28½ inD William Evans 1734
54-3-19 30½ inC William Evans 1734
66-0-22 33¼ inBb William Evans 1734

Source: Bell data from Nick Bowden and Andrew Bull. Further information from David Haslum, the Filton Parish Church website, and a plaque in the ground floor of Filton church tower.

Where a bell's exact weight is known, it is given in the traditional way using the British imperial units of Hundredweight, Quarters and Pounds (cwt-qtr-lb) in which there are 28 pounds in a quarter, four quarters in a hundredweight, and 20 hundredweight in a ton (one hundredweight is equal to approximately 50.8 kilograms). However, if only an approximate or calculated weight is known, it is given to the nearest quarter of a hundredweight.

A bell's diameter is measured across its mouth (open end) at the widest point and is given in inches (to the nearest quarter of an inch), one inch being equal to approximately 2.54 centimetres.